NCS Wednesday Night Dinner Program
The Brick Presbyterian Church is proud to have been one of the early supporters of The Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter (NCS) after it was founded in 1981. Located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, NCS was created by religious and civic organizations who were concerned about the growing problem of homelessness in the neighborhood. This community came together to help the homeless people on its streets by establishing soup kitchens serving lunch and dinner daily, operating an information and referral program in a local church, and opening a women’s shelter.
NCS was formally incorporated in 1982, when it began its search for a building to provide permanent housing to homeless men and women. Today the NCS 81st Street Residence houses men and women who are gaining personal and financial independence and becoming active members in the community once again. It serves as a long-term, supportive housing facility for people who have come through the Coalition’s Shelter Program. Formerly homeless, the residents live independently, but, like all of us, need some support and tender loving care.
The Brick Church hosts Wednesday night dinner at NCS on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. Each week the host volunteers plan the dinner menu and purchase and cook the food to be served. Most importantly, volunteers are needed to sit and enjoy the meal with the residents of the 81st Street Residence. The time commitment is just one Wednesday evening. This is a fulfilling way to spend a Wednesday evening and help a great cause. For more information, please contact Deacon Adrienne Miller.
Jan Hus Presbyterian Church
Jan Hus Presbyterian Church has a long history in New York City as an advocate for disenfranchised members of the community. Its Homeless Outreach and Advocacy Program (HOAP) provides a variety of direct services to those in need — from a weekly dinner program and pantry services, to counseling, referrals and emergency grants. HOAP also works in coalition with other organizations to mobilize and advocate for a change in policies that affect the low-income, poor and homeless populations of New York City.
Jan Hus is a founding member of the East Side Congregations for Housing Justice and works collaboratively with other groups, including The East Side Homeless Network, Lenox Hill Neighborhood House and Neighborhood Coalition for Shelter to provide the greatest possible services and support for its clients and to advance forward-thinking policies aimed at ending homelessness as we know it.
For more information on the Deacons’ Tuesday night dinners at Jan Hus, please contact Deacon Petra Slater.
New York Common Pantry
Formerly known as Yorkville Common Pantry, New York Common Pantry is the largest nonsectarian neighborhood-based provider of emergency food in New York City, providing more than two million meals annually to individuals and families in and around the Upper East Side and East Harlem communities. The pantry was founded in 1980 by a coalition of Upper East Side churches and synagogues to reduce hunger and promote dignity and self-sufficiency, and receives strong support from its 40 member board of directors.
Each week, this organization provides hundreds of emergency food packages through its 24/7 program. It is the city’s only emergency food pantry open 7 days a week. It serves 1350 hot meals per week and distributes nutritious grocery packages containing 33,000 meals to 1600 low-income families, or approximately 3,700 individuals. In addition, the organization provides on-site showers and laundry facilities, haircuts, psychiatric assessments, emergency shelter and social service aid.
As a founding partner, The Brick Church has very close ties to the pantry. We fill grocery bags at the pantry, hold food drives, provide Thanksgiving turkeys and participate in many other activities. For more information, please contact Deacon Pam Dickson-Thorpe.
Opportunities: You may have it in your heart to help formerly incarcerated men and women make a positive fresh start in their lives. Several Brick Church members have already volunteered to be a part of Brick Church’s pilot “re-entry for former prisoners” program. There are many ways you can help. You can write letters to present and former inmates, or send holiday and birthday cards, or meet and mentor recently-released men and women in a safe & welcoming environment; or even attend graduation ceremonies at selected New York State prisons that offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees to inmates.
We seek to offer a lifeline to men and women who have been rejected by society, but who are committed to re-orienting their lives. Your commitment of time can be minimal, or as involved as you wish it to be. We are establishing brief workshops in mentoring; do’s and don’ts of letter writing; helping to identify sources of employment; re-establishing connections with loved ones and other efforts that will help the formerly incarcerated connect to the civil and civilian world. If it appeals to you to explore volunteering for this new ministry at Brick Church (no commitment necessary at this time), please contact Rev. Douglas King, Kent McKamy or Michael Barnes to learn more about what’s been done so far, and what’s upcoming. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details on this ministry.
Search and Care
The mission of Search and Care is to seek out older people in the Yorkville and Carnegie Hill communities (East 86th to East 104th Streets, from Fifth Avenue to the East River) who need help in managing life’s daily activities or accessing essential services, and to provide them the support and companionship they require to live with security and dignity.
This not-for-profit, nonsectarian social service agency has served more than 6,000 residents in these communities since 1972 through a collaboration of experienced social workers, volunteers, student interns (social work, nursing, occupational therapy) and retired financial professionals.
Volunteers make home visits, help access benefits and entitlements, serve as escorts and shoppers, and provide bill-paying assistance and effective care plans geared to each individual. For more information, please contact Rev. Doug King.
Church of the Living Hope
Ministries done together have so far included the December Craft Fair, the Crafty Ladies of 104th Street group that meets on Tuesday evenings, and weekly dinners on Mondays in the home of Rev. Chris Lawrence and his family. Church of the Living Hope will be a site for the Day of Discipleship in March.